Laura’s garden is overflowing with luscious eggplant, slim zucchini, tasty cherry tomatoes and gorgeous red onions. And her herb patch, too, is bursting out of its boundaries. Here’s her favorite dish, a low-maintenance ratatouille.
Temptation is a Garden of Eden-themed novel—Laura, the main character, starts a garden on a whim, and before long she’s puttering away every evening, planting seeds and seedlings and battling weeds and worms. She finds peace and contentment, and relief from the frenzy her life has become—without paying for a yoga master or a psychotherapist.
Pretty good deal, plus she gets all the organic veg she can eat.
I can’t think of a better way to serve the bounty of Laura’s garden than this roasted ratatouille dish. Roasting brings out the sweetness of the vegetables, and bakes in the flavor of the olive oil and herbs. This dish takes a long time to bake, but needs very little preparation. Once you’ve chopped the vegetables and tossed them with the olive oil you can sit back and drink a glass of merlot, or maybe go weed the garden.
I like to serve this over couscous (which takes five minutes to prepare) and with a chickpea salad on the side.
1 red onion
1 eggplant (no need to peel)
1 red or orange pepper
about 20 cherry tomatoes, or a similar amount of regular tomatoes, cut into wedges
2 cloves of garlic, sliced
1/2 teaspoon each: dried rosemary, thyme, oregano
olive oil (about ¼ cup)
salt and pepper to taste
fresh basil leaves, for serving
Pre-heat oven to 350F.
Cut all the vegetables into bite sized pieces. Slice the cherry tomatoes in half. In a large baking dish or baking pan, pour enough olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan. (It’s a good idea to spray first with cooking spray, for easier clean-up.)
Place the vegetables in the dish and pour more olive oil over the top, tossing the vegetables until they’re more or less coated with olive oil.
Sprinkle the dried herbs on top. Cover with aluminum foil.
Place in a 350 degree oven and bake for 45 minutes, stirring about half way through. Remove the foil and bake another 30-40 minutes, until the vegetables are beginning to turn brown and are softened.
Serve with more olive oil and fresh basil or other herbs, salt and pepper, and a good red wine.